Through three games, San Francisco 49ers third-year RB Carlos Hyde has accounted for 225 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Stats that I consider to be a bit inflated due to last week’s blowout loss at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks, it will be interesting to see how Hyde fares as he goes up against the Dallas Cowboys (2-1).
A battle I consider to be a strength versus weakness, the 49ers offensive line should have their way on Sunday, as Hyde should have no problem topping the century mark for the second consecutive week.
Leading up to the draft the Cowboys were in the market of drafting either DE Joey Bosa or DE DeForest Buckner. They opted for neither and instead went against conventional wisdom drafting Ohio State RB Ezekial Elliott with their top-five pick.
A smart move on their part as Elliott is paying huge dividends for them so far, the same can’t be said of the team’s defensive line.
The Cowboys did little via the draft and free-agency to address the team’s weakest link– defensive line. A unit that ranks T-29th in the NFL by allowing 5.0 yards per carry, I can’t help but think Hyde will go off against this suspect defensive front.
When these two teams square off, the Cowboys will have to do it without their top defensive lineman DE DeMarcus Lawrence. The third-year player has been suspended for the first four games of this season, just like 49ers OLB Aaron Lynch for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
Both known for their pass-rush prowess, the Cowboys will undoubtedly miss the Boise State product, as he paced the team last year with 8.0 sacks and 10 tackles for loss. A huge blow for America’s team, the Cowboys simply don’t have the horses up front to keep up with 49ers HC Chip Kelly and his up-tempo offense.
The 49ers offense ranks 2nd in the NFL in rushing touchdowns with 7 and should add to that total on Sunday, as the unit continues to be a strength on the offensive side of the ball. Look for Hyde to run to daylight all game long while moving the chains, as he should easily top 100 yards on the ground. A player who has yet to record back-to-back 100-yard performances, that should change on Sunday.
In Hyde’s first career NFL game he rushed seven times for 50 yards (7.1 avg.) and 1 touchdown. Ironically, it was on the road against the Dallas Cowboys. Expect, Hyde to have more success against the conference rival, as he goes up against Cowboys DE Jack Crawford and DT Tyrone Crawford.
The NFL is a game of match-ups and the 49ers should have no problem enforcing their will down in the trenches. A unit that is gaining more ground and rapport with each other with each snap, look for Hyde to benefit as I expect him to finish with a stat line hovering around 26 carries for 117 rushing yards and 1 touchdown.